I do a loop the loop in the sky and look at the island. I sigh. So beautiful, the sapphire blue water, white, sandy beaches… I smile as I see the tree. Our hideout. I land outside the entrance and let out a proud crow, a signal that I have returned. I walk inside and find myself surprised to see… nobody. No one's here. Puzzled, I sit on my hammock. I search my brains then finally come up with the answer. I moan softly to myself so no one else can hear, though I know I can moan as loud as I wanted. No one was here anyway. Tink had died a long time ago. The Lost Boys… I put my head in my hands. They're gone too. Left with John, Michael and Wendy. My… OUR mother. I look at the room that I'm in. It's dusty, my possessions scattered lazily around. In a corner a spider spins her web. I suddenly notice how large the room actually is. It's huge. I had never realized before. And it's so quiet. I remember back to a time when the room was noisy and filled with laughter. The boys running around, what were their names again? Slightly, Tootles, Nibs, the Twins, Curley… and John and Michael. Playing our game of make-pretend. I shake my head; try to shake a feeling from me. It's a strange feeling, a feeling I don't think I've ever felt before. My heart feels ready to burst, and my eyes start to water but that's no big surprise. I try to cheer myself up with a game of make- pretend.

"Ar, I'm the great pirate Blackbeard, the meanest, scariest pirate of the seven seas! I'll skin yer hide and eat it for dinner!" I shout in a deep, grating voice. I beam with pride; that was one of my best pirate imitations yet. I almost expect to hear a reply: "And I'm One-Eye, Blackbeard's mighty assistant! Together we sail the seas, searching for adventure and adventure!"

But none comes. I lower my fist, which is in the air. Make-believe isn't as fun without anyone around. I lie down in my hammock and sigh. It sure is boring all by myself. I take put my pipes and blow a sad, melodious tune. I don't know where it came from. Usually I play happy tunes, but this time it's sad.

They all left, all the Lost Boys, my mother, Wendy. To their mothers. Their true mothers. Mothers, huh. Who needs them? I certainly didn't, and I never did. I carry on playing. Mothers. Nothing but nonsense.

I can barely remember my own mother. All I can remember are her eyes. And touch. I always tell the boys the mothers are trouble, but in truth, I miss mine more than anyone can tell. She always looked at me with such sparkling, loving eyes and never scolded me. Her touch was soft. I can still remember the way she would gently run her fingers through my messy hair and coo softly when I was crying. It's funny how I absolutely hate mothers, yet I used to cry because I missed my own. I'm what people would call a hypocrite I guess. Hypocrite. Another large word for a child. And there everyone was thinking I was just a bossy, proud, stubborn kid who could fly.

I remember my father. He taught me as much as I could learn as soon as possible. He started to teach me my alphabet as soon as my first tooth came out. By the time I was only two my intelligence was slightly lower than a four year old's. In other words, I was growing up fast. Mother and father would always look at me with pride, smile and say that I would be a fine man one day. That I was growing up so fast. I got scared then. I remembered father telling me about a man, dying of old age. Grow old and die? Not for me. So I ran away. When I came to Neverland I was surprised and pleased to find that there were other children here too. I never 'socialized' when I was small. That's why my mother would always sigh when I threw a temper, or acted stubborn or spoilt. "If only you had friends. You might learn to behave from them," she would say. I immediately took control of the kids. I guess you could say I bossed them around. I don't care. But I never ever let anyone know I was smarter than I looked. I didn't like this part of me, wanted it to go away. It showed I was grown up. I didn't want to be.

Anyway, it didn't matter to them. After I had run away I returned to see them again. I was hoping that perhaps they would take me back in again, for I missed them a lot. I imagined to be like a sad reunion, that I would fly in and my mother would burst into tears and I would run into her arms and we would all be a happy family and we would all fly to Neverland and live together forever. But it wasn't like that. I came to the house. My window was barred, and there was another little boy asleep on my bed. At first I couldn't believe it; how could there be another boy on my bed? Then I thought perhaps I had gotten the wrong family and maybe mine had moved out. I stayed and watched as the boy tossed and turned and kicked in bed. Then he let out a scream and sat bolt upright. Silly boy, getting scared of nightmares. A woman came in and stroked his hair and cooed to him not to be afraid. It was then I had to turn away for fear of choking. I felt like my heart was ripping in two. I recognized the way the woman gently ran her fingers through the boy's hair, the sweet, soft words she said to the boy. I recognized the woman's face. It was then I knew that my parents had forgotten all about me. I flew away that night and didn't return for a long time, vowing that mothers were bad.

I've been back to the 'normal world' many times. I've seen many people, children mostly. The question they all ask is 'who are you?' Good question. To tell the truth, sometimes I really don't know. I say Peter Pan. One kid even had the nerve to ask 'what kind of surname is Pan?' Sometimes I wonder.

Peter Pan. I have been known as the child who never grows up, and I have heard from children and stories that people tell that I am a symbol of youth. I have many brave adventures and what ever I do, have fun. How far from the truth. I am not always so happy. How can I be? No one can be happy and have fun forever. I blow gently into my pipes, feeling the muscles in my throat shift to achieve the deep, sad tone that I want. Heh. If anyone looked at me now, they wouldn't see me as Peter Pan. For now, I am simply just Peter, ordinary boy. Peter Pan, symbol of youth and fun waits for me to return. So who am I? Peter, ordinary boy who has feelings like everyone else… or Peter Pan, child of mischief and fun?

I look at the room, look at Tinker Bell's sleeping room. Tink. I miss Tink. She left too. This one puzzles me though, she left, but she wasn't old. Not really. She didn't look old. One day I called her. When she didn't come, I pulled back the opening of her 'room'. She was lying on the floor, huddled into a tight ball, wings on her sides. I thought it was strange that she was sleeping on the floor so I poked her. I suddenly noticed that her glow had gone. Nothing I could do would bring her back. Tink. Tinker Bell. I miss her so much, though I don't show it. We had loads of adventures together, Tink and I. She was such a jealous fairy too. I remember when Wendy came. She was screaming at her, screaming such rude words. It made me laugh. She comforted me when I was sad and laughed with me when I was happy. She would tease me and pull at my face to irritate me. The best thing was the tinkling sound she made. The sound of bells.

I lower my pipes from my lips and am surprised to find hot tears streaming down my cheeks. I don't bother wiping them away. I have never been afraid to cry, although I don't like other people seeing it. After all, I AM Peter Pan. I am brave. I do not cry.

I notice something I never saw before. Flying over to the other side of the room, I pick up the object. I stare at it, my mind blank. Then memories flood in. I hold the small object in my palm. It's cold. I close my palm and try to warm it. How long has it been there, without me noticing? I wonder.

"I think it's perfectly sweet of you," Wendy declared, "and I think I'll get up again"; and she with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.

"Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked, aghast.

"I shall know when you give it to me," he replied stiffly; and not to hurt his feelings she gave him a thimble.

I turn the object around and observe in wonder how the light is reflected off its cold metal surface. I hold it to my heart and feel my heart beating under my chest. Wendy. My mother. I stand for a while longer, holding the light metal thimble to my heart. A kiss. I chuckle. Silly girl. I knew what a kiss was, I was only teasing. And she took it seriously. I suddenly remember where I am, what I'm doing, after I realize that my hand and clothes are soaking wet with my tears. I wipe them away. Now's not a time for crying. Crying won't bring them back. With this, I fly out of the tree.

I stop outside many houses and window, peering inside. You see, I'd forgotten which one it was. As I go past one, I hear barking. Barking that I recognize. I look down. Yes, it's that dog. I fly to the window and rattle it, try to open it. It's locked. I press my face against the window but I can't see inside. I hear a female voice exclaim and then the window opens. I tumble in and get up with as much dignity as I can. I look at the people in front of me. There is a tall boy with dark hair staring at me through huge spectacles. A younger fair-haired boy sits at a table, pencil on ear in a business fashion and a pile of papers in front of him. Two identical boys look at me from their beds, where it looks like they have been packing books into their bags. Two other, non-identical boys look up from their game. I stare at the game for a while in puzzlement; it's a large board with black an white squares and what looks like a lot of little statues on it. A tall young woman stand next to me, soft hair hanging lightly about her shoulders. Finally there's one more boy with black hair who stares at me from under the bed. He's grown a few inches and lost a bit of baby fat, but I still recognize him.

"Tootles" I whisper. There is a moment of uncomfortable silence. I stare at them, my face carefully blank and maybe the slightest bit arrogant. I recognize all of them. John is the one with the spectacles, obviously. That's Michael sitting at the desk. He's grown quite a lot, and has changed his hairstyle. The identical boys are obviously the Twins. Those two playing the game are Curley and Slightly. The woman can only be Wendy. And I already said the small boy under the bed; he is Tootles. I play dumb.

"I'm looking for the Darlings. Have I come to the wrong house?"

I see them look at each other and almost smile when I see that they are looks of worry.

"Peter, we…" the woman starts.

"I missed you Peter" Tootles shoots out from under the bed and hugs me tightly. I feel slight relief. At least he hasn't grown up. Completely. But he definitely has gotten taller. His head now is about half an inch higher than mine. I stiffen.

"I don't think I know you"

"Peter, it's me! Tootles!"

"Tootles?" I put on a shocked face and look at him as if I had no idea. "You can't be Tootles"

"He is, Peter. I'm John" John steps forward. I have to look up to see his face. His face is well built, like the face of a young man. His voice is deep. The bright sparkle of adventure and fun in his eyes have dimmed and I feel sad. He has grown up, now almost an adult. He's probably forgotten what being a child is like. I feel tears well up in my eyes.

"John?" I say softly. My heart feels like it is ripping apart. I hate that feeling. It means I'm sad. That means I can't fly. That makes me angry.

"You promised you wouldn't grow up! You promised!" I shout accusingly. I feel hands on my shoulders.

"We had no choice. We were forced to grow up Peter. There's no stopping it" Wendy says soothingly. I want to collapse into her arms and cry. No, I won't. I'll show them. I wrench myself free from her grip.

"You didn't have to grow up. You could have stayed with me and we could have had adventures together"

Slightly starts to object. "Yes, we could, but we would've rath-"

"Rather what? Do this?" I pick up a handful of the papers on Michael's desk. As I pick them up, I glance at them. Sums, equations and numbers are printed clear as crystal on the clean white sheets. I find that I can't solve any of them. And that makes me mad. Before I was sad, showing it as anger. Now I'm truly angry.

"This rubbish? Doing this is more fun, better than playing with me in Neverland? You'd prefer to do this and grow up than stay in Neverland" my voice trembles with anger and suppressed tears. I get the slight satisfaction of seeing them cringe. I may be younger and smaller than them now, but I'm still the one in control. To my surprise, Curley stands up to me. He walks in front of me and straightens to his full height. To seem aggressive, I think. He's a foot taller, but I don't care. I've faced worse people. I look at him with angry, red eyes, arms crossed, lips twisted into a defiant look.

"Neverland was getting boring. Growing up seemed more exciting" he said. I stare at him coolly, reminding him who is boss. He stares back, matching my icy glare. It's the look that adults give, the 'now you listen to me' look. The one that says that they are so much more superior. I was so tempted to just ram my knife into his stomach.

"Go ahead, stab me. You're not the boss of us any more Peter" he said coolly, as if reading my thoughts.

"More exciting. I suppose it'll be very exciting when one day you are old and die"

"We know that Peter. We live with that knowledge every day, that one day we'll be old and we will die. We're used to it. We're not afraid of it any more" one of the Twins say. The other Twin nods. I feel my blood boil, but I have nothing to say. Afraid. They accuse me of being afraid. But I am afraid, so I've got nothing to say…

"Dinner!" a voice calls from somewhere downstairs. I'm desperate now.

"Won't you come back to Neverland with me? Just once?" I plead. They look at me sadly.

"We're sorry" the Twins say and leave. Curley looks at me sadly, shakes his head as if sorry for me then follows the Twins. I look at John, hopeful.

"John? Please?"

He looks very sad and his voice is husky when he tells me "I can't. I've forgotten how"

"I'll teach you!" I say eagerly. I just want company in Neverland. I want someone to stay with me. John shakes his head.

"It's been many years since that day" he says simply. He hesitates then ruffles my messy hair and quickly leaves. Michael follows his big brother, looking at me silently. I look at Tootles, who wavers. I don't say a thing. He sighs.

"I wish I could" he says wistfully.

"Then why not?"

"I have to stay here. Look after the family"

"Dinner!" the woman calls again. Tootles smiles a shaky smile at me.

"Wish it didn't have to be this way"

I kept silent, arms crossed.

"So you're going to stay?" I ask, hoping to sound casual. He nods slowly. He looks as if he's going to hug me again, and I know I wouldn't be able to hold my tears any longer if he did, so I stick out a hand.

"Well, good bye then" I say stiffly. He looks startled then takes my hand and shakes it slowly.

"Bye" he says, but waits as if hoping I'll say more. I can't resist.

"Go on, go back to your MOTHER" I say, not bothering to keep out the malice in the word mother. He regards me with sad eyes then nods and leaves. I slump against the wall. The tears I had been holding back flowed in little streams down my cheeks and onto my clothes. I curl up into a ball, knees against my chest. I know that they're only downstairs and so can still faintly hear me, so I hold back my sobs and instead gasp and shake with the effort of crying silently. I feel arms around me and I look up into the face of a young woman. She looks at me with brown eyes filled with caring and gentleness, and I swear silently. I forgot about Wendy. She shushes and runs her fingers through my hair soothingly like she did when she was my mother. I allow her this for a minute, to calm myself then I pull myself away from her hug roughly and glare.

"I suppose you're going to stay here too. To grow up," I say coldly. I see her flinch slightly. I don't care. I look away, out the window. Wendy takes my chin and gently moves my face so I'm staring into her brown, brown eyes.

"Yes. I am going to stay here. And it's not because I want to"

"Then why?"

"Because these boys still need a mother"

"They've already GOT a mother," I say bitterly.

"Yes, but I'm their true mother. I need to look after them Peter"

"No they don't. They're already grown-ups" I burst into tears. Wendy pulls me into a warm hug again and this time I stay in them.

"I want a mother. I want my mother," I whisper. Part of me feels sincere about this, the other part disgusted. But it's true. I do want one. Wendy sighs.

"Peter, I need to stay here to look after the boys. They can't look after themselves without me" she says. She looks at me in the eyes again.

"But you can. You've always been able to look after yourself".

The magic words. My pride and ego swells. I, a child, can look after myself better than all those GROWN-UPS. I push away from Wendy again and this time walk to the window. Then I stop and turn back.

"I'm going to be lonely"

"No you're not"

"So I can still come over and take you to do my spring cleaning?"

Wendy shakes her head remorsefully.

"No Peter"

I cross my arms. "You've forgotten how to fly"

Wendy comes closer and ruffles my hair affectionately. "We may not see each other in the flesh, but people have other ways of seeing each other"

Alright, now I'm confused. "How?"

"In your dreams Peter. I'll always see you in my dreams"

I smile, satisfied.

"All right" I say. I stand on the windowsill and turn back to her.

"Isn't there something you're going to give me to remember you by?" I ask, grinning. She smiles back. I suddenly notice how, over the years, her face has changed from gentle and childish to gentle, warm and loving. Like an angel.

"A kiss" she says. Do I detect a sparkle in her eye? I hold out my hand. She looks startled then sighs.

"Oh dear. I meant a thim-"

I laugh and peck her on the cheek.

"A kiss" I say, grinning at her surprised face. She grins back, slightly. Good, she hasn't changed too much. Most grown-ups hate it when people younger than them know something but don't show it. Wendy, smiles sweetly, runs her fingers through my hair again then pushes me out the window. I fall out, startled, immediately feeling the cool air rushing at my back. I giggle childishly, swoop down to the ground then back up again and do a loop the loop. I turn back to the window. Wendy sits there, watching me. I bow gallantly, crow a defiant crow and fly back home.

All right, I know I failed. I went to get someone to come back with me, and no one did.

They made their choice. Any amount of persuading wouldn't do a thing.

Them, they chose to be like any ordinary person.

I am special. I will live forever.

I remember a question I asked myself earlier: Who am I?

Who am I?

I'm Peter Pan.

Opalgirlz: That was kinda dumb. I'm really sorry, I started out with this great idea that had me in tears (I originally planned for this story to be angst) but then as school dragged on I started to lose all inspiration. Please don't flame, I don't think my (recently) deflated-to-the-size-of-an- apple ego would be able to take it.

Dark_devillz: No, it's OK… Peter seems a bit out of character

Opalgirlz: I know, and again, sorry, but this is what he thinks, not what he does (if you know what I mean). For example,, a person on the outside could be really funny, energetic and fun-loving but inside the person is dead serious. Yes, I also know the Lost Boys 'escaped' too quickly, but I didn't want a page on how they shuffled out of the room. Wendy also seems out of character, but she's grown older and changed. Now I've explained everything (and used all my lame excuses to cover everything), I hope I have persuaded you not to flame. Do. Not. Flame.

Dark_devillz: Reviews!!!

Opalgirlz: By the way, I don't know if in the book Peter actually played pipes, I'm just following the Disney cartoon. I did read Peter Pan, but it was a Puffin book (you know, those thin ones…) so I may have missed some information. I never actually read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (is that the right title?) so I don't know about that either… *blushes*